NORTH COLLINS — With one quarter left in its league season, and playing on back-to-back nights, the Salamanca girls basketball team needed a big finish.
The Warriors found that last burst of energy to outscore North Collins 21-8 in the fourth quarter of their road CCAA East II finale, earning a 47-36 win on Tuesday. Salamanca’s seventh consecutive league victory, along with Ellicottville’s 54-39 loss at Pine Valley on Tuesday, clinched the East II division title for the Warriors.
Kylee Dowdy posted 20 points with eight rebounds and three steals for the Warriors (7-10, 7-1) and Nizhoni Kennedy added 11 points and three steals. Jaeden Hubbard alo had eight rebounds and Marla Warrior took four steals.
Salamanca scored just six points in the first quarter and three in the third, but 17 in the third and 21 in the fourth.
“We came out really slow in the first and the third, but had a really strong fourth quarter obviously,” coach Bryelle Wallin said. “The girls knew the pressure of the game, they knew what was at stake tonight and they rose to the occasion. That was nice to see. They definitely fought hard and North Collins is a good team. So give credit where credit's due, but we gutted that one out.”
Myah Gabel led North Collins (3-11) with 11 points.
Wallin quoted her high school coach, Pine Valley’s Tim Nobles, in explaining the Warriors’ second win in as many days.
"That was a struggle, no doubt that was a struggle,” she said. “But they responded. It wasn't the best win. Mr. Nobles always told me, 'Never apologize for a win.' They gutted it out, that's for sure. Now we get a little bit of a break and see what happens with Ellicottville and go from there."